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The Grinch who Stole our Christmas Party

By 23 September 2011 74

Who thinks it fair and equitable that after many, many years of successful, fun and safe Christmas Partying, our Govt Dept Executives have now banned our Dept. Christmas Party, to be replaced with an End of Year party?

At this gathering there will be no Christmas decorations, no Santa, no carols, no bons bons, no plum pudding, no roast turkey and ham, no pavlova. No Christmas hats, bobbly earrings or Santa adorned t-shirts. In short, no Christmas festivities at all.

Oh, you can have your party, even hold it in the Christmas festive season, just don’t say it’s for Christmas. Lest someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas feels unwelcome, and unable to end the year at a party with their workmates, put on by their Social Club. And we won’t tell you you can’t call it a Christmas Party until right at the last minute of organisation. And by the way, you have absolutely no say in the matter, as on the complaining of a few who don’t want a “Christmas Party”, we’ve made our final decision.

ED – Berraboy also sent in this view of this tale. Can anyone name the department?

A good friend of mine is ranting furiously this evening about her department’s decision to  name their Christmas party the ‘End of Year Event’, thereby removing any reference to Christmas.  A few inquiries about this today turned up a curious bit of information that the re-naming is due to a number of complaints from a few people who  didn’t feel welcome to attend as they don’t celebrate Christmas.   As a result, the whole party will now be non-denominational.

While urban legends on such issues abound, these are mainly centred on similar decisions in the US or UK.  This is the first time I’ve heard such a story in Australia, let alone Canberra.  Personally, I’m torn on the issue.  While I love multiculturalism and the positive benefits it has brought us, I also believe that those who come here and enjoy all we have to share should accept us for who we are… customs, holidays, yeast based food products and all.

While a large part of me feels like emulating  William Wallace by throwing on a kilt, painting half of my face blue and joining an anti-PC horde shouting “they may take my fireworks, but they will not take my Christmas!”, another part of me thinks maybe we should just suck it up.

So, dear Rioters, is this turning our back on ‘Christmas’ a fair thing or simply PC gone mad?  Should we adjust our holidays to suit the views of those in the minority or should we be more inclusive?

I await your thoughts.

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74 Responses to
The Grinch who Stole our Christmas Party
Rollersk8r 1:59 pm
23 Sep 11
#31

Of course it sounds like poltical correctness gone mad but get over it. I love Christmas time and Christmas party season but save your traditions for your family. I’m grateful that I’ve never had to sing carols at the dozens of public service Christmas parties I’ve been to over the years. The less formal the better I reckon. Would take a BBQ in the park over a Christmas buffet any day (except Christmas day!).

Pandy 2:00 pm
23 Sep 11
#32

This happens to be on the Dept of Innovation, Patent s I hear.

Stevian 2:01 pm
23 Sep 11
#33

ozzieme said :

Well bollocks I say. We have to conform to traditions etc etc if we were in other countries and not to mention we also have to conform to that particular way of life. I think Australia is becoming increasingly “weak” and allowing our own traditions be shoved out of society just to please other religions. Yes I understand we are a multicultural society but really, why do our tradititions have to be stamped out to “please” our new migrants/citizens????? Also this particular government department is also given those an extra 4 days to have “religous” time off anyway. Bah Humbug any wonder there is so much rasism out there and to think our kids are not going to know what a tradition is by the time they grow up.

Christmas parties have been going on foreva, its not like the staff are asking you to come dressed for the ocassion but to have fun and celebrate good times, those that have the traditions are going to party in the name of it anyway.

This opens up discussion as to what are OUR traditions as opposed to those imported from foreign parts (Britain, Europe, The USA). What are OUR traditions and what makes them OURS, because ultimately all of US were once one of THEM, either personally of by heritage.?

Watson 2:26 pm
23 Sep 11
#34

Bluey said :

What PC bollocks.

Next people will be sued for carroling in public for offending someones sensitivities…

People should get sued for carolling in public for offending someone’s senses!

rarm9983 2:48 pm
23 Sep 11
#35

I organised a private company party last year and we were all in agreement that as we had people of varying religions that it would be the end of year party. We even got creative and called it the “Summer Soiree” and themed it so people could wear summer attire like hats and cricket shirts etc. Everyone attended as there were no issues with it being a “Christmas Party”, and a great time was had by all. My point is, does the name really matter? Maybe you should cheer up and stop complaining and you would have a better time at your end of year function?

Primal 3:51 pm
23 Sep 11
#36

rarm9983 said :

My point is, does the name really matter?

Apparently yes – otherwise you wouldn’t have gone to the effort of finding a neutral name for yours…

poetix 4:16 pm
23 Sep 11
#37

The whole reason we have a holiday (holy day) at the end of the year is the traditional celebration of Jesus’ birth. I find the creepy reindeery carols and kid-scaring Santas awful, but I don’t think we should deny the great historical and religious tradition represented by the Christmas celebration. I try to respect other religions, including, for example, the sacrifices made by Moslems during Ramadan, but let’s not pretend that Christianity isn’t a vital part of our society. In Australia, we still measure the date from Jesus’ birth, for example. However inaccurately.

In the words of Tiny Tim ‘God bless Us, Every One!’ And have a Christmas party, even if you’re an agnostic.

Holden Caulfield 5:07 pm
23 Sep 11
#38

What sort of a sad sack would feel excluded at a Christmas party that is simply a gathering for people to share a few drinks and some food? I’m fairly certain no work Christmas party is going to be interrupted for a quick church service. And even then have these selfish excluders ever heard of tolerance?

It doesn’t really matter either way, I guess, but surely this is just a bit too precious?

Moreover, if someone wanted to hold an end of Ramadan party, or a Chinese New Year party and were told, nope you can’t do it because Precious would feel excluded, then I’d say that’d create a bit of a fuss for the opposite reasons.

Pandanus77 5:50 pm
23 Sep 11
#39

Ah!! the thin edge of the wedge, Gov agency says no to Christmas party, then no to Christmas, then no to Christmas public holidays. Just think of the savings they can make.

Seriously though, I thought that multiculturalism was about celebrating all cultures and their celebrations not removing them from our lives. Where I went to high school in Sydney there were 44 “language groups” as the PC brigade called them. Common language….English, what did we all look forward to every year regardless of our backgrounds or religions…. Christmas holidays.

Mr Waffle 6:43 pm
23 Sep 11
#40

Sounds like one of those beat-up complaints you see on A Current Affair. I have two Muslim co-workers and they have no issue with going to a ‘christmas party’; hell, one even gave me a christmas card (the only person in the office who gave them out!).

toriness 7:22 pm
23 Sep 11
#41

Holden Caulfield said :

Christmas is only for a man and a woman.

touche`

and a +1 to the immediate following comment by djk – ie doesn’t matter what’s it called, it’s still a party!!

Watson 8:00 pm
23 Sep 11
#42

poetix said :

The whole reason we have a holiday (holy day) at the end of the year is the traditional celebration of Jesus’ birth. I find the creepy reindeery carols and kid-scaring Santas awful, but I don’t think we should deny the great historical and religious tradition represented by the Christmas celebration. I try to respect other religions, including, for example, the sacrifices made by Moslems during Ramadan, but let’s not pretend that Christianity isn’t a vital part of our society. In Australia, we still measure the date from Jesus’ birth, for example. However inaccurately.

In the words of Tiny Tim ‘God bless Us, Every One!’ And have a Christmas party, even if you’re an agnostic.

+1

I repeat though that not having carols and Xmas easy listening songs would be huge plus for me. As long as there is finger food and grog, who cares though?

It reminds me of an old South Park episode in which the kids eventually have to dress up as nondescript grey blobs and perform a totally nonsensical play because they are forced to strip out any reference to any culture or religion from their “holiday play”.

I-filed 8:43 pm
23 Sep 11
#43

Hold “Festivus” instead. After management hears the “Airing of the Grievances” around the Festivus Pole, they may well welcome Christmas back next year … (viz. Seinfeld)

Pandy 9:15 pm
23 Sep 11
#44

To be more specific my source says it is the Patents and Trademarks Office in Phillip.

What’s more they say no other celebrations will be observed, like Diwali(?) so as not to offend others.

Just Google “Christmas ban Centrelink”.

Jethro 11:41 pm
23 Sep 11
#45

I’m pretty sure a regular office party could have ham, turkey, pavlova, puddings, earings, etc….

Seems to me people are getting their stockings in a twist over a name change.

Ian 7:00 am
24 Sep 11
#46

Who cares, as long as there is plenty of booze?

Deref 9:35 am
24 Sep 11
#47

Bloody ridiculous. I’m a staunch atheist but I celebrate xmas with the best of them. Someone who always attends and enjoys our office xmas parties is a Muslim.

Xmas as it’s celebrated these days may have a vaguely Christian antecedent (it’s a pagan midwinter festival that the Christians hijacked), but the only time I ever see it connected with Christianity is on the signs outside churches.

These people should decorate the top of the xmas pine tree in the same way that the xmas fairy did.

WhyTheLongFace 1:43 pm
24 Sep 11
#48

poetix said :

In Australia, we still measure the date from Jesus’ birth, for example. However inaccurately.

I think you will find that has changed. The use of BC and AD are also being removed from use. We are moving to Common Era (CE) and Before Common Era (BCA).

But are spot on about the inaccuracy to ‘Jesus’ birth.

The world changes. Get used to it.

poetix 4:03 pm
24 Sep 11
#49

WhyTheLongFace said :

poetix said :

In Australia, we still measure the date from Jesus’ birth, for example. However inaccurately.

I think you will find that has changed. The use of BC and AD are also being removed from use. We are moving to Common Era (CE) and Before Common Era (BCA).

But are spot on about the inaccuracy to ‘Jesus’ birth.

The world changes. Get used to it.

Different terminology, same dating system. And it’s BCE, not BCA.

‘English language expert Kenneth G. Wilson speculated in his style guide that “if we do end by casting aside the A.D./B.C. convention, almost certainly some will argue that we ought to cast aside as well the conventional numbering system [that is, the method of numbering years] itself, given its Christian basis.”‘ (Wikipedia) Sorry, I don’t have time to check the reference.

Can’t escape where the numbers came from, whatever euphemism you choose to use. Or would you rather we developed a new calendar? That’d be convenient.

Mysteryman 8:21 pm
24 Sep 11
#50

Deref said :

Bloody ridiculous. I’m a staunch atheist but I celebrate xmas with the best of them. Someone who always attends and enjoys our office xmas parties is a Muslim.

Xmas as it’s celebrated these days may have a vaguely Christian antecedent (it’s a pagan midwinter festival that the Christians hijacked), but the only time I ever see it connected with Christianity is on the signs outside churches.

These people should decorate the top of the xmas pine tree in the same way that the xmas fairy did.

I hear the “pagan midwinter festival hijacked by Christians” from a lot of people, but none of them have ever been able to provide any evidence of this – except for that joke of a film “Zeitgeist”. There is plenty of evidence of the winter solstice being recorded as occurring on the 25th of December, and of festivals in different regions of Europe/Scandinavia that occurred around the same time (notably Saturnalia – a Roman celebration introduced around 200BC which finished on the 23rd of December). But there doesn’t seem to be much (or any) evidence to support the notion that Christians took over or hijacked any pagan celebration. Even the Roman celebration of Sol on the 25th of December (the holiday most commonly claimed to be the one hijacked by Christians) can only be traced back to the 4th century, some 300 or more years after Christ. It’s likely that the Winter Solstice was chosen by Christians because of the significance of the sun’s “rebirth” and the symbolism of Christ’s birth, but to suggests that one celebration was taken over by the other seems a little baseless. As pagans across Europe converted to Christianity, they brought with them some of their traditions and incorporated them into their Christmas celebrations (such as “yule logs’, for instance), but it’s unlikely that Christmas was ever a pagan celebration.

EvanJames 10:41 pm
24 Sep 11
#51

scary. I always thought we wouldn’t be stupid enough to go down the US path of “happy holidays” (ssshh don’t mention christmas), but here we go. I’m sure other countries we might go live in will do the same for us, white-out their cultural festivities. Not. Why do we feel the need to cringe and grovel because someone declares they are Offended at something?

Stevian 2:49 am
25 Sep 11
#52

Mysteryman said :

Deref said :

Bloody ridiculous. I’m a staunch atheist but I celebrate xmas with the best of them. Someone who always attends and enjoys our office xmas parties is a Muslim.

Xmas as it’s celebrated these days may have a vaguely Christian antecedent (it’s a pagan midwinter festival that the Christians hijacked), but the only time I ever see it connected with Christianity is on the signs outside churches.

These people should decorate the top of the xmas pine tree in the same way that the xmas fairy did.

I hear the “pagan midwinter festival hijacked by Christians” from a lot of people, but none of them have ever been able to provide any evidence of this – except for that joke of a film “Zeitgeist”. There is plenty of evidence of the winter solstice being recorded as occurring on the 25th of December, and of festivals in different regions of Europe/Scandinavia that occurred around the same time (notably Saturnalia – a Roman celebration introduced around 200BC which finished on the 23rd of December). But there doesn’t seem to be much (or any) evidence to support the notion that Christians took over or hijacked any pagan celebration. Even the Roman celebration of Sol on the 25th of December (the holiday most commonly claimed to be the one hijacked by Christians) can only be traced back to the 4th century, some 300 or more years after Christ. It’s likely that the Winter Solstice was chosen by Christians because of the significance of the sun’s “rebirth” and the symbolism of Christ’s birth, but to suggests that one celebration was taken over by the other seems a little baseless. As pagans across Europe converted to Christianity, they brought with them some of their traditions and incorporated them into their Christmas celebrations (such as “yule logs’, for instance), but it’s unlikely that Christmas was ever a pagan celebration.

Google Mithras if you want to see a Pagan precursor to the Christ myth.

Thumper 7:51 am
25 Sep 11
#53

“I think you will find that has changed. The use of BC and AD are also being removed from use. We are moving to Common Era (CE) and Before Common Era (BCA).”

BP (Before Present) is perfectably acceptable and has been for ages.

AD is pretty much outdated but BC is still used widely.

BP makes makes more sense that AD and BC simply because it is an exact amount of time, not plus or minus 2000.

BCE just sounds silly.

bugmenot 8:36 am
25 Sep 11
#54

Mysteryman said :

I hear the “pagan midwinter festival hijacked by Christians” from a lot of people, but none of them have ever been able to provide any evidence of this … There is plenty of evidence of the winter solstice being recorded as occurring on the 25th of December … But there doesn’t seem to be much (or any) evidence to support the notion that Christians took over or hijacked any pagan celebration … can only be traced back to the 4th century, some 300 or more years after Christ.

There’s plenty of winter solstice worshiping that dates back beyond that. Ancient Babylon and Baal date back around 2000 years prior to the baby-cheeses. The sun has been worshiped by almost every ancient civilisation (Ra, Hou Yi, Ri Gong Ri Guang Pu Sa, Tonatiuh).

If you were really celebrating Jesus’ birth, then you wouldn’t be doing so in December.

Christmas is for you and your family. Why is there a need to force it onto the rest of society?

Ben_Dover 9:14 am
25 Sep 11
#55

Xmas stopped being a Christian celebration about 20-30 years ago. This is just PC rubbish.

Deref 9:24 am
25 Sep 11
#56

Mysteryman said :

I hear the “pagan midwinter festival hijacked by Christians” from a lot of people, but none of them have ever been able to provide any evidence of this

Let’s start with the fact that Jesus himself is an entirely mythical character. There is no contemporary evidence whatsoever – absolutely none – of Jesus or any of his mythical miracles. Nazereth itself didn’t exist at the time in which the Jesus fable is set. The oft-cited reference in Josephus’s writing is generally acknowledged as a clumsy later forgery.

If there was no pagan midwinter celebration, where do you think the pine trees, the holly and the ivy memes came from? They’re all symbols of renewal – the only European plants that remained green over winter. And 25th December? Even Christians accept that they don’t know the date on which their imaginary friend was said to have been born.

Mr Evil 10:40 am
25 Sep 11
#57

Funny how people can supposedly be so offended by the mention of Christmas, but I’ve never actually heard anyone complain about getting the time off work over the Christmas break, or making a stand by actually going into work over that period.

Bramina 10:41 am
25 Sep 11
#58

What is important is that we all get drunk.

Mysteryman 11:16 am
25 Sep 11
#59

Deref said :

Mysteryman said :

I hear the “pagan midwinter festival hijacked by Christians” from a lot of people, but none of them have ever been able to provide any evidence of this

Let’s start with the fact that Jesus himself is an entirely mythical character. There is no contemporary evidence whatsoever – absolutely none – of Jesus…

And with that, you proved you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, and demonstrated that the rest of your post isn’t worth the electrons required to display it. No historian worth his salt has denied the existence of Jesus the person.

Tooks 12:05 pm
25 Sep 11
#60

Frank Costanza had the right idea. A festivus for the rest of us.

The airing of grievances, followed by feats of strength, and of course the aluminium pole (not decorated because tinsel is too distracting).

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